The other day I saw a “tiny house,” one of those “less than 500 square feet homes that can be had for under $30,000. Huh, I thought, financially limited Baby Boomers could get one these, buy a piece of land, arrange utilities and park it there. Eureka! A debt-free retirement solution for those on a tight budget.
Wondering if this were feasible, I did a little research. First, for those who are not familiar with what “tiny homes” are, take a look at “Ready to Roll: 13 Cool Tiny Houses on Wheels.” These are nice little designs with impressive amenities, just …well, tiny.
How Much does a Tiny Home Cost?
This is a newer market. It appears that DIY kits start under $7,000 for a 200 square-foot design. A fully decked out tiny home on a mobile chassis, however, will run $70,000 or more. To see examples of pricing for complete tiny homes mounted on trailers, I suggest looking at the Tiny House Marketplace.
Of course, if a tiny home is envisioned as a residence, the cost of land and utilities must be added. Ouch, this could get expensive. Pretty soon, the pricing is competing with a single-wide mobile home already installed on a piece of land or traditional housing in cheaper parts of the country.
Are Tiny Homes a Solution Hunting for a Problem?
Most municipalities have problems with authorizing tiny homes as residences. There are safety and zoning issues. Also, people are worried about the impact on existing home values.
So, tiny homes appear to be finding a market as second homes in unincorporated areas, say as a vacation cabin, or as “bug out” places for preppers. Hey, all you have to do is dig a well and install solar panels to have a self-sufficient hideaway.
For more insight into tiny home issues, we suggest reading:
- Tiny houses are trendy, minimalist and often illegal
- 7 things to consider before moving into a tiny house
The Bottom Line for Boomers
Although there is something intuitively attractive about the interior of tiny houses, they do not appear to be a feasible answer for retiring Baby Boomers seeking to have a low-cost roof over their heads. A better solution would be to relocate to a cheaper location or retire abroad where the dollar goes further.